Protecting our coast

The coastal management strategy was adopted by Council in June 2018.

Coastal living, here and in many other parts of New Zealand, involves being aware of and prepared for the natural processes changing our coastline, and hazards that can arise more suddenly.

Our Council is focused on building ‘resilient’ coastal communities that can respond to and recover from these sorts of hazards that are common to many parts of New Zealand.

All the planning and work we are doing to support our communities in this way comes together in our Coastal Management Strategy (CMS).

Coastal Management Strategy

In 2018, our Council adopted the Coastal Management Strategy, which sets out a range of initiatives we will be taking over the coming years to better manage our coastal assets and understand the risk of coastal inundation and coastal erosion. The 2018-2028 Long Term Plan includes $2.6 million over three years to help us implement this strategy. 

This approach to coastal management activity ensures a district-wide approach, allowing us to better-manage our coastline from a holistic and long-term perspective. We work together public and private organisations such as the Waikato Regional Council, New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), the Department of Conservation, iwi and community groups with an interest in coastal protection.

‘Coastal management’ encompasses a wide range of projects to identify hazards and risks and develop Shoreline Management Plans to combat these, with a view to building ‘resilient’ coastal communities.

The CMS was adopted by Council in June 2018. You can download the strategy on the top right-hand-side of this page.

Council adopts revised climate change assumption for Long Term Plan

In February 2018, our Council adopted the Government's revised climate change guidance based on forecasting assumptions the Ministry for the Environment published in December 2017.This means a potential sea-level rise of up to 1.88m by 2150 will be taken into account for all major infrastructure projects adopted as part of our Council's 2018-2028 Long Term Plan. You can read more about this here.The document 'Coastal Hazards and Climate Change Guidance' for Local Government 2017 is available from the Ministry for the Environment website.

Shoreline Management Plans

Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) are being developed to outline how each stretch of shoreline is most likely to be managed to address flood and/or erosion.

SMPs assess the flooding and erosion risk to people and the environment in the given area over the next century. They also identify the preferred interventions for managing those risks in a sustainable manner.

In May 2019, our Council appointed independent engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV (RHDHV) to support the development of our Shoreline Management Plans.

Royal HaskoningDHV (RHDHV) was awarded the $1.9M contract, as part of the $2.6M total budget, for what will be a milestone three-year project for our Council and New Zealand more broadly.

RHDHV has a strong understanding of the SMP process, having developed several of the first and second-generation SMPs in England and Wales, and more recently undertaken a whole of New South Wales coastline risk assessment in Australia.

The consultancy, which has offices in 30 different countries, has established an office on the Thames Coast for this three-year project, for which it has assembled a consortium that includes  the Coastal Management Collective in New Zealand and EMM Consulting in Australia.

Our Mayor Sandra Goudie says the appointment is one of the proactive steps our Council is taking in response to the challenge of climate change for our communities.

"The Coastal Management Strategy is something we have been working on for quite some time as part of our focus on ensuring our communities are engaged, prepared, protected and safe in the long-term," Mayor Sandra says.

Coastal Hazards Policy

Our Council adopted the Coastal Hazard Policy on August 7, 2018. This policy sets out our approach to sustainably managing the effects of coastal hazards on our district’s coastal foreshore.

You can download the policy here.